Several Founders, Co-Founders, CXO Bankers, CXO Fintech professional & people who participated in the e-Panel discussions:
- Mr. Ketan Doshi, Managing Director, Pay Point India Networks Pvt Ltd
- Mr. Taron Mohan, CEO & Promoter, NextGen Telesolutions Pvt Ltd
- Mr. Amit Lakhotia, Founder, Park+
- Mr. Sharad Goklani, former CTO at Equitas Small Finance Bank
- Mr. Shashank Chowdhury, Former Executive VP- Inclusion Initiatives, Vakrangee Software Ltd
- Mr. Arun Tanksali, Co-founder & CTO, Nearex
- Mr. Alok Karkera, Group Head – Government Coverage Group West & South, Axis Bank
- Mr. Roopesh Chandran, Director Business Development, Visa Inc
- Mr. Anupam Varghese, Chief Tinkerer, Tinkerbee Innovations
- Mr. Salil Chugh, Head Analytics and Data Partnerships, Experian Asia Pacific
- Mr. Ishan Vaish, India Partnership Manager- Worldwide Developer Relations, Apple
- Mr. Shirsha Ghosh, Co-Founder Torit Innovations
- Mr. Hemal Shah, former Technical Product Manager, Mastercard
- Mr. Vikas R Panditrao, Co-Founder, Forum of Industry and Academic Knowledge Sharing (FIAKS)
- Many other CEO/CXO Bankers & Fintech professionals on FIAKS Forum requested to remain anonymous
As per TOI, in the rural areas, ATM usage has gone up because of Jan Dhan accounts and the government’s direct benefit transfers (DBT). This is most clearly visible by the trend of increased usage of ‘white-label operators’ ATMs (Non-bank entities that set up, own, and operate ATMs are referred to as white label ATM operators), which are used only in rural and remote parts of the country. From just 2% of total ATM transactions in India in 2014, these white-label ATMs now make up 12% of total transactions. 
So FIAKS community questions, is this good, or is this pulling down digital initiative?
Well firstly closely introspect, isn’t the withdrawal of cash from ATM “digital”?
- Shouldn’t we see this as moving the unbanked population to the banked population, which in a way is the first step to digital? A good portion of them will eventually move to digital given the way the internet penetration is growing in India. Expecting the unbanked to move directly to digital and contribute significantly to the digital initiative from day one is unrealistic.
- We tend to forget there was a time when moving customers from branch to ATM was the prime goal for most banks and that was merely a decade ago and in fact, channel migration is a real strategy even today for many banks. ATM withdrawal should be seen as an actual digital movement.
- It would be prudent to remember how when we started adopting a digital banking system. We actually preferred banks that had a wider ATM network! In fact, that used to be a popular marketing line as well. If the better-off looked for this, how much more would the less affluent seek this out. Especially as a driver for trust. Trust that their ‘virtual’ money can be easily made physical as and when they need it and vice versa.
- The transition from cash to cashless does not happen by restricting the free flow between the two. It cannot happen only through rules or mandates either. It can happen only by making the flow between these two states as seamless as possible and making sure that things become easier once money is in the cashless/digital form.
Is printing of cash and its distribution against digital initiative?
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